Monday, 9 January 2012

Ying Yang, Sat Nav & Nipples

Call me cynical (I prefer it if you use my name, although I am fairly cynical, so it might as well be my name. Oh, shut up and read on, you awkward piss weeds... love you really...), but every kind of relationship is a love/hate one.

All relationships, when you look at them, exist on the same principles of Ying and Yang, Ant and Dec and all that jazz (come on, we all have one of the latter two that we hate. For me, it's Ant*). The worst ones are those that are supposedly "romantic" relationships consisting of an absolute arse-breeding platform of a wank carpet and a long-suffering partner who has no reason to be part of said relationship. We all know of at least one couple like this.

There is another kind of relationship that we have all embraced at some point in our lives, sometimes with open arms and excitement, other times with our arms twisted behind our backs and a car battery connected to our nipples. I'm talking about technology. Yes, that curious bastard. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for technology, when it actually improves things (I can still remember the dark old days, when Google Image Search didn't exist, so you'd be pretty screwed if you didn't have access to a book full of pictures of random cats), but a thought occurred to me recently as at work, we received posters to display in the window, giving the date our store would be closing and the location of the nearest store after we've gone.

That in itself isn't anything to do with technology, but it struck me as odd at first that the map showing the location of said store is accompanied by the full address and postcode of the place. It just seemed that printing the postcode was too much information and a little pointless, until I realised that it was for the benefit of people who have sat nav systems in their cars. Personally, I'm not a fan of sat nav systems. I prefer to use an actual, physical map and the traffic updates on the radio, as it's a fairly cheap and easy system if you do it correctly. It was just seeing the postcode as part of the directions that got me thinking... as technology progresses and evolves, it seems to need more personal information from us in order to simplify our lives and make us love it.

It wasn't all that long ago that all people needed to get hold of you was your home telephone number and if somebody needed to find your house, you would only have to tell them the street it was on, the number and possibly what colour it was or what car to look out for outside. Since technology has evolved and become a bigger part of our lives, it has made things easier, but only if we reveal more information. You need to give people, your home and mobile numbers, your full address and postcode and in some cases your email address too. That's not so bad if it's someone you actually know who needs this information, but if it's for a one-off delivery or something, it just feels a bit... iffy.

If a relative stranger wanted us to be so precise and forthcoming with such personal details 20 years ago, they'd be told to sod off and you'd be on the phone to the Police quicker than you could say "AAAAARGHTHEY'RECOMINGTOGETMEOHFUCKOHFUCKOHFUCKOHBLOODYBUTTERYSODDINGFUCKTROUSERS!!!"

Maybe I'm being a bit paranoid about such things, but I do wonder how long it will be before conversations such as the following take place:

"Hey, Steve, I've got one of those new, generic super-smart phones, but I've not been able to transfer my contacts over from my old phone. Can I have your..."

"...Yeah, sure, it's 0748..."

"...No, you don't need to give me your number. It's got this new built-in software that finds the complete contact details for people just by putting in a few simple details."

"Oh, wow, really? Well, what do you need, then?"

"Just your postcode..."

"MK7 2QB"

"...Then your bank details, the code for your burglar alarm and your wife's bra size."

Probably sooner than you think.

*Or Dec. Or both.

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